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The sieged resort's smooth operator

I would have thought the day political protesters invaded Thailand's Royal Cliff Beach Resort — sending half of Asia's presidents and prime ministers fleeing by helicopter — would be recalled bitterly by the resort's leadership.

But Victor Kriventsov, the resort's sales and marketing director, is surprisingly unflappable. I  recently met up with Victor, a major player in the Russian travel industry, while reporting a story on Russian tourists.

We chatted at the seaside complex, the scene of so much chaos just weeks ago. And I had to ask: What was it like to witness your resort under siege?

According to Victor, a bit farcical. Click below to hear some audio excerpts of our interview.

A deputy honorary consul to the Russian Federation, he runs a small consulate on the resort grounds — and I especially like the bit about summoning Thai troops to defend his seaside patch of Russian soil.

"It's so funny. I myself, speaking 10 words of Thai, easily arranged a platoon of marine commandos protecting my (consulate), just like that."

And here's a warning: Scratch the Sultan of Brunei's vehicle at your own peril.

"I saw at beach parking ... the Sultan of Brunei's bodyguards guarding not him, his cars. Immediately, they just took out machine guns. Took a few shots."

Don't let Victor's laughs fool you. The invasion was a gut-punch to Thailand's tourism industry and,  in the travel business here, everyone has suffered. But you gotta admire his attitude.

http://www.globalpost.com/notebook/thailand/090514/the-sieged-resorts-smooth-operator